Comeback Effort Not Enough At Tennessee
Oct. 25, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --- The Georgia soccer team came from behind twice Thursday night on the road at 23rd-ranked Tennessee, only to fall to the Lady Volunteers by a 3-2 score at the Regal Soccer Stadium in Knoxville. The Bulldogs saw their season come to a close as Tennessee put in the game-winner with under seven minutes to play.
The Bulldogs conclude the 2012 season with an overall record of 7-11-2 and 3-8-2 in conference play. Tonight's win pushed the Lady Vols to 14-4-2 and 9-3-1.
"I'll tell you what, Tennessee is one of the best teams we've played all year," said head coach Steve Holeman. "Today they were the better team, but they didn't win for a lack of effort on our part. Our girls fought, they battled, and did everything they could to get the win. We went down 1-0, came back, went down 2-1, came back, and it's a tough pill to swallow for Tennessee to score there at the end. I love this team - so many times during the season they could have folded, and they didn't. They battled to the end."
The Lady Vols got on the board first in the 17th minute as UT's leading scorer Hannah Wilkinson finished in front on a ball played over from Alexis Owens from the left side. It was the eighth goal of the year for Wilkinson, with the assists going to both Owens and Kylie Bono, who started the play with a ball up to Owens.
Madeline Barker evened things for Georgia with under six minutes to go before halftime, after a give-and-go with Bella Hartley opened Barker up for a left-footed shot from up top, which she finished past the keeper just inside the post to make it 1-1 in the 40th minute. It remained even at 1-1 at the intermission on Barker's third goal of 2012.
Tennessee would take their second lead of the day at 2-1 just over three minutes into the second half as Caroline Brown placed it over Georgia keeper Ashley Baker's head from 12 yards out on the right.
But with 10 minutes left in regulation the Bulldogs tied it again when Barker put a corner kick service into danger and it was first touched by Locandro and on to Susannah Dennis - who headed it into the back of the net to make it 2-2 on her second of the year.
But with the Bulldogs searching for the win to keep themselves in the running for a trip to the SEC Tournament, Tennessee moved in front a third and final time as Owens knocked home the eventual game-winner on a scramble in front past Baker to make it 3-2 with under seven to go, and it would stay there.
The Lady Volunteers finished the night with 23 shots, while Baker made nine saves for Georgia to stand now with a career-best 112 on the season, good for fourth all-time in UGA history. Her 305 career saves will also place Baker in fourth all-time for a career.
Tonight marked Georgia's 12th one-goal game of the season out of 20.
The Bulldogs lose four starters from this year's squad - Baker and Dennis as well as defenders Jenna Buckley and Rebekah Perry. Meanwhile, Georgia will return its top five goal scorers from this season in addition to Hermann Trophy Watch List candidate Alexa Newfield, who was forced to redshirt the 2012 season due to a knee injury. Former SEC Freshman of the Year Laura Eddy will also return after missing two straight seasons with ACL tears. Holeman will head into his fourth season in Athens needing just four wins to reach 200 for his career.